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-   -   Critique my serve - Small vid attached (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=447183)

jstyle711 12-02-2012 10:27 PM

Critique my serve - Small vid attached
 
Was finally able to capture some footage of my game, though it isn't much, I was hoping to get some tips on what to work on. I had a friend capture 2 games with me against my other friend but I clipped parts which I wanted you guys to see; my serves and my forehand (I already know I suck at volleying). In the video is basically my 2nd serve. My first serve is a flat serve and I get it in about 65% of the time.

A little history about my tennis is that I played only my freshmen year in HS and was 4th singles at my school. I pretty much stopped playing after that up until last year, I'm 27 btw. I was able to meet some guys who were all alot better than I was which motivated me to pick up the stick once again. After playing for a year I was discouraged that I was not picking the game up at a rate I normally pick up sports. It wasn't until 2 months ago where everything just clicked. I'm thinking about joining a club now that its the winter season and playing outdoors is no longer an option and joining some tournaments to see where I rank. I play about 2-3 times a week for about 3 hr sessions.

I am well aware that I foot fault. Actually it wasn't until I watched this video that made me realize I foot fault on every one of my serves... haha.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?edit=vd&v=hrrS1grBBqQ

jstyle711 12-02-2012 10:34 PM

I'm hoping to record more within the week so I see what else I need to work on. Currently i'm pretty satisfied with my forehands, backhands, and serves. Things I need to work on are my volleys (putting away with one shot) and overheads.

eidolonshinobi 12-03-2012 04:21 AM

I'm not in a position to critique your serve but...

A couple key things that will help with everything else the rest of the folks following me will have advice for:

Split step
None of these shots have you split stepping. This prevents you from ACTIVELY going to the ball. As of now you're waiting for each ball to get hit/land, instead of anticipating preemptively.

Ready position
Ready position (athletic position etc.), will help and goes hand-in-hand with split steps. You are standing straight up in your shots, especially during your return. Bend your knees please!

On a side note, you said that
Quote:

but I clipped parts which I wanted you guys to see
.

In all honesty, if you just show us what you want us to see it won't do you much good. The only thing you should edit in videos are the times in between points. The stuff that you don't want us to see, i.e your opponent schooling you or a bunch of unforced errors, would be more beneficial for you. Anyone can show their highlights from their videos, but if you want to get better and want the board's honest critique you might as well show your strengths and weaknesses.

Hell, I posted a view progression videos of myself on this forum before, with my opponent blowing me off the court with his groundstrokes. If your other friend's are that much better, get videos with them. You'll really see what you need to work on and we can help identify those.

I'm still learning myself, but building a good foundation (footwork, stances, etc.) really helped me improve much faster because half the battle is getting to the ball. The rest is hitting it.

tennis_pr0 12-03-2012 04:40 AM

You are not quite getting into the back scratch position. Work on your throwing motion. The forearm snap is where you will receive the acceleration on your serve, when the forearm extends up towards the ball form the back scratch position. When you are sideways and ready to serve, try rotating your shoulder first before you swing at the ball, this will help your arm fall behind your back into the ideal back scratch position. You are kind of swinging just with your arm from the sideways position instead of rotating and throwing your arm forward. Practicing the throwing motion and letting your shoulder rotate earlier will help. When you swing your arm is too straight. Try practicing a motion where your just have your racquet and no ball, and you pretend to turn and throw your racquet up towards the ceiling. his should help you get the racquet in the ideal back scratch position and help with your forearm release. (The snap needed to achieve maximum racquet head speed)

pvaudio 12-03-2012 05:47 AM

By showing us what we want to see, you mean you're showing us what happens when it works. That's what we don't care about. What we want to see are the flaws. First tip is to either tell your friend to lay off the stims, or to get a tripod.

Unrelated, how old is that girl who is running you ragged :lol:

LeeD 12-03-2012 01:56 PM

Your serve looks fine for 3.5-4.0 play. A more bent elbow at the trophy would give you consistency, something like a catcher's throw. Take more time before you serve, but I know you're just clowning around here.
Your forehand also.
Your volleys might need some help, in the one you showed.
Nice of you to hit easy right back to her. You could have just hit away from her and gotten no rallies.
Try to have the camera set 6' high directly behind you, to see path of ball and both players.

spacediver 12-03-2012 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7044896)
A more bent elbow at the trophy would give you consistency, something like a catcher's throw.

That's an understatement - he's almost windmilling the serve.

A bent elbow will give you tonnes more power also. You're essentially losing a lever in the kinetic chain with a straight arm.

LeeD 12-03-2012 04:05 PM

Now try convincing JimmyConnors to drop his bolo overhead stroke.
OP, the reason the straight elbow doesn't work, and you don't bend it after you start your foreward swing enough, is that like a dancer spinning, the arms IN help you cartwheel faster, while arms OUT, slows down your rotation.
A serve needs precision, like a catcher's throw.
It doesn't need sheer power, like an outfielder's throw.
Look at some short swing pitcher's, like BartoloColon, who barely bring the hand back, but still throw fastballs with accuracy in the low '90's.
Bend you elbow for trophy, usually 90 degrees.

jstyle711 12-03-2012 06:24 PM

Heres the full video is you're interested... I'm not playing serious in the video but I was working on taking the ball early on her serves. Shes someone I know I can beat which is the reason why I was standing straight during the returns and serving nothing but my 2nd serves.

I'll work on having more of a bent elbow during my serves and forehands; could this be one of the reasons why I'm beginning to feel some slight discomfort in my elbow? Anyways, I'm going to be hitting again tonight with some better competition and I plan on recording it as well. Thanks for the input guys.

The girl is actually 31 and has been playing for a while now. Shes pretty consistent and has decent power which isn't shown in the video. Definitively would be a tough match for me if she had a serve that wasn't attackable. I won btw 6-2 6-4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG0fuHYmfjY

LeeD 12-03-2012 06:34 PM

Still, looks like you found yourself hitting with a 3-3.5 level female, which doesn't reflect well for your skills.
Fortunately for you, you'd beat her breadsticks almost any day of the week.
Vids like this just shows where your tennis is at. You're taking delight crushing someone at 3-3.5 female levels.

TomT 12-03-2012 06:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstyle711 (Post 7045317)
Heres the full video is you're interested... I'm not playing serious in the video but I was working on taking the ball early on her serves. Shes someone I know I can beat which is the reason why I was standing straight during the returns and serving nothing but my 2nd serves.

I'll work on having more of a bent elbow during my serves and forehands; could this be one of the reasons why I'm beginning to feel some slight discomfort in my elbow? Anyways, I'm going to be hitting again tonight with some better competition and I plan on recording it as well. Thanks for the input guys.

The girl is actually 31 and has been playing for a while now. Shes pretty consistent and has decent power which isn't shown in the video. Definitively would be a tough match for me if she had a serve that wasn't attackable. I won btw 6-2 6-4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG0fuHYmfjY

I'm not qualified to critique, but enjoyed the vid, and it looks to me like you have lots of potential. Post more vids, but get the camera in a stable position behind you.

pvaudio 12-03-2012 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jstyle711 (Post 7045317)
Heres the full video is you're interested... I'm not playing serious in the video but I was working on taking the ball early on her serves. Shes someone I know I can beat which is the reason why I was standing straight during the returns and serving nothing but my 2nd serves.

I'll work on having more of a bent elbow during my serves and forehands; could this be one of the reasons why I'm beginning to feel some slight discomfort in my elbow? Anyways, I'm going to be hitting again tonight with some better competition and I plan on recording it as well. Thanks for the input guys.

The girl is actually 31 and has been playing for a while now. Shes pretty consistent and has decent power which isn't shown in the video. Definitively would be a tough match for me if she had a serve that wasn't attackable. I won btw 6-2 6-4.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG0fuHYmfjY

These excuses actually make you look quite bad, if I'm honest. When you post a video asking for people to fix your flaws and then you cover with the fact that you aren't trying, then it makes your skill set look even smaller. I would suggest in the future only posting videos where you are giving proper effort OR refraining from making excuses/rationalizing.

UCSF2012 12-03-2012 08:00 PM

This is another rotating arm serve. The windmill arm.

TomT 12-03-2012 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7045344)
These excuses actually make you look quite bad, if I'm honest. When you post a video asking for people to fix your flaws and then you cover with the fact that you aren't trying, then it makes your skill set look even smaller. I would suggest in the future only posting videos where you are giving proper effort OR refraining from making excuses/rationalizing.

Thanks for this post pvaudio. It enlightened me a bit. I agree with you that the path to improvement, to learning, is honesty and humility.

LanEvo 12-03-2012 10:38 PM

Hey guys, I want someone to compare to, what skill level is the OP?

eidolonshinobi 12-04-2012 05:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pvaudio (Post 7045344)
These excuses actually make you look quite bad, if I'm honest. When you post a video asking for people to fix your flaws and then you cover with the fact that you aren't trying, then it makes your skill set look even smaller. I would suggest in the future only posting videos where you are giving proper effort OR refraining from making excuses/rationalizing.

I don't mean to jump on the bandwagon but this is one of the things I TRULY detest when I'm playing someone better (or someone who thinks they're better) than me.

I've played against my fair share of 5.0+ and 99% of them take me seriously despite my lower level (especially when I was learning). This was due to me always trying for every point and giving them the respect that their giving me their time to play with me. So I like to return the favor whenever I play someone below my level.

It also gives them the idea of where they need to improve on as players if need be. I have the mentality to always practice as if it was game day and it was a real match. If she's that much "lower" than you in ratings, work on footwork by ONLY using forehands (running around all backhands if possible). Trust me that's a workout in itself.

There's so much you can fix about your game no matter what level. If she can get the ball back you can work on something different every time you play her.

Also Hubris.

jstyle711 12-05-2012 04:37 PM

I apologize if I offended anyone with the responses I made before. I too detest when a player takes it easy against me; it normally motivates me to try my hardest and hopefully shove it in their face. My game is still very far from where I want it to be and I appreciate the responses I've received on tips to improve my game.

The battery on my camera ran out before I was able to record the next match but I was able to capture roughly two mins of our rally session. A couple things I was able to pick from this video was that I still was not split stepping. This move is still very new to me and I will try and make it a habit. I drag my feet alot, which would be the reason why I wear my shoes out so fast. I also feel like I'm arming my forehand a little bit to much. I need to have an earlier prep (a full backswing by the time the return ball lands?).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1poYz...ature=youtu.be

pvaudio 12-05-2012 05:12 PM

Your strokes really are not bad. Neither is the guy in the far court. What's missing is footwork. Being a bit blunt: you don't have any. You guys get jammed and end up off balance even on balls hit directly to you with little pace. I guess this is the pvaudio mantra for most of these sorts of threads, but stop focusing on your strokes for a while. Focus on your movement. As I've said to lots of other guys (do keep in mind I am not a coach but simply someone who has applied what I preach and I've greatly improved) here, you can't hit your Djokovic level strokes unless you're in position to. The only way to make that happen is if you get into position to have the proper contact point for your shots.

cork_screw 12-06-2012 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 7044896)
Your serve looks fine for 3.5-4.0 play.

That's pretty harsh. 3.5 serves do not look like that. I would say, it's not there, but it's not at the level of someone who is 3.5. He is on a good path to getting to down.


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